6 Alternatives to Angie’s List for Finding Home Improvement Pros

Need a home improvement professional such as a contractor, designer, plumber, HVAC pro, electrician or landscape designer (to name a few)? Angie's List is awesome, but there are several very good alternatives to Angie's List. Check them all out here.
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Basic home services provided by an agency.

Home improvement contractor and trade horror stories abound.  From blowing budgets to shoddy work to outright fraud, it’s not easy hiring the right pros for your projects.

In fact, super capable guys like Mike Holmes have made a career out of teaching and fixing poorly done contractor work.  It’s such a popular concept, Mike Holmes has starred in multiple TV shows on the subject.  His latest is “Make It Right on HGTV“.

Out of all the messes, several online services have popped up that help connect homeowners with home improvement pros.  The concept includes some level of screening primarily via customer reviews so people can hire people with some degree of confidence that they’re hiring a quality service.

Angie’s List is one such service.  It’s wildly popular and very good at what it does.  However, if you’re not finding the pro you need at Angie’s List, fear not, there are several alternatives to Angie’s List.  We did the research (actually, we’re very familiar with the space so it wasn’t too much effort to put this list together).  The result is a list of popular services similar to Angie’s List that we list out and provide pros and cons of each below.

1. Houzz

The official website of Houzz as an alternative to Angie's List

Pros

  • This website makes it very easy to find local professionals who are able to do a lot of different work around your home. From builders to landscape contractors, it’s easy to find the professionals that you need.
  • By walking you through the process of finding a professional to help you, Houzz does a great job narrowing down who is in the area as well as making it easy to get a quote directly from the professional you are interested in.
  • If you don’t want to get a quote right away, you can easily contact the company yourself.
  • Clicking on the professionals’ pages on Houzz will let you see photographs of projects that they have worked on as well as read any reviews that other users have left. In addition, there is an area where users can ask questions and the professionals can respond directly on their page so that everyone can see the information.

Cons

  • Since this section of Houzz is not as well-known as other sites, there aren’t a lot of reviews available, especially in more rural areas.
  • It can be difficult to navigate when looking for a professional as there are so many categories and options that it tends to be a little overwhelming.
  • Until more contractors set up their profiles, users can’t see photographs of their work and ask them questions.

Find it online here.

2. Thumbtack

Similar to Angie's List - Thumbtack's home improvement provider online service.Pros

  • Thumbtack is a lot more focused than other sites such as Houzz, which makes it very easy to navigate the site and find what you are looking for without getting caught up looking at home projects and designs that other users have posted.
  • This is a more personal site than one such as Angie’s List. Thumbtack users are able to post on the site information about the jobs that they need completed and then professionals will contact them.
  • It’s free for individuals to use Thumbtack.
  • Thumbtack offers more than simply home repair professionals and contractors. They also offer the ability to find lessons, designers, and help with different kinds of crafts.
  • By answering a few simple questions, users can get profiles of local professionals who may be able to help them.
  • It’s easy to connect with a professional once a user finds a quote that he or she likes.
  • They fully vet all of the professionals who they are going to promote on their site and require them to submit their professional licenses. This helps protect users by ensuring that everyone they may hire is legitimate.

Cons

  • It is only available in the United States.
  • The list of professionals that may meet your needs can’t be viewed on the website and has to be sent to an email, which is frustrating for those on a time crunch who really want to get the necessary information right away.
  • There is no live chat or telephone help for Thumbtack users. The only way to get help is to email their support team or to read the FAQs that they have online. This makes it almost impossible to get information and help right away if you have a problem.

Find it online here.

3. Porch

Official website of Porch.

Pros

  • After you enter information about the job you want to have done as well as your budget, Porch will connect you with local professionals.
  • It’s easy to connect with professionals in the area as well as check their credentials, customer reviews, and work history.
  • It’s free for both the professionals and the customers to use, which means that you might be able to find more professionals in your area to choose from since they don’t have to pay to be active on the site.
  • It offers cost guides for common jobs so users can get an idea of how much their project is going to cost them.
  • They offer a guarantee that will help offset any losses that you have in case the professional did not complete the job or perform high-quality work. While this guarantee does not cover everything, it does help to give people peace of mind when hiring someone online.
  • Their Home Assistant program makes it easy to get the help that you need at any time.

Cons

  • It is only available in the United States.
  • Not a lot of users have written reviews on Porch, making it difficult to find a lot of information about the professional you are considering hiring.
  • It only specializes in finding experts in home repair and renovation as well as some other contractors while other sites are set up to find professionals in all sorts of jobs.

Find it online here.

4. HomeAdvisor

HomeAdvisor's main page on its site connecting homeowners with home improvement professionals

Pros

  • It focuses on work done on the home and property.
  • It offers a number of guides including finding the right person for the job you need done, reviews of local businesses, and how to plan your budget for your project.
  • Customers can use this website for free as the professionals pay to have their websites listed on the website.
  • With a lot of different categories of work to choose from, this website makes it very easy to find the exact professional that you need for your work.
  • There are a lot of reviews for different professionals on the website, which helps users find the right one for their jobs.
  • A cost guide helps you plan your budget based on your location, the services you need, and the price of local professionals.

Cons

  • Since the contractors pay for leads, it’s important for customers to fully vet the company that they hire to ensure that they won’t be scammed.
  • They charge professionals for leads even if the customer doesn’t contact them, which causes a lot of quality professionals to leave the site.
  • It doesn’t have a great reputation for linking customers with the most qualified professionals in the area.
  • HomeAdvisor does not vet the professionals that they link to, which can lead to customers trying to do business with companies that aren’t professional or willing to commit to doing a great job.

Find it online here.

5. Consumer’s Checkbook

The official website of Consumer’s Checkbook.Pros

  • This project was created by a non-profit group that advocates for consumers.
  • All of the information that they provide is unbiased, which allows customers to choose professionals without fearing that they are being bought.
  • There is no advertising from businesses nor does the website get referral fees or even kickbacks. This lets customers trust their advice.
  • It’s very easy to search for local businesses.
  • There are a number of informational and interesting blog posts on the site that help users learn more about projects that they are interested in, information on how to save money, and how to pick the best professional for the job.
  • Because they believe in transparency, they are going to be very honest about the professionals in the area.

Cons

  • To see actual information and not just advice, you will have to pay for an account.
  • They do not have information for every city, which can make it very difficult to find a professional if you live in a more rural area.

Find it online here.

6. Handy

Handy's main website page.Pros

  • It is easy to find professionals who provide household services on this site.
  • It works all around the world in matching customers with local professionals in categories such as handyman help to cleaning services.
  • Has a 60-second booking and offers secure payment as well as a money-back guarantee for its users.
  • Signing up with email offers new users 50% off their first scheduled home cleaning.
  • All of the professionals listed on this website have been fully vetted and gone through an extensive background check to ensure the customers’ safety and satisfaction.
  • It’s easy to schedule services for as early as tomorrow, which is great for people in a rush.
  • Customer reviews make it easy to choose from local professionals and to know exactly what you are going to be getting with your hire.
  • The iPhone and Android apps offer the ability to manage as well as book appointments, view professionals in the area, and see where your professional is in real time.
  • Because you pay online and can tip as you’d like, you never have to worry about actually paying the professional who you hire in person. This can make the whole situation a lot less awkward for some people.
  • Signing up for regular services means that you may be able to get a lower rate.
  • The blog offers users a lot of information that can help them when finding a professional and even gives information about Handy partnerships.
  • All bookings through Handy.com or the app are insured so customers don’t have to worry about paying for accidental damage that a professional causes.

Cons

  • You do have to use your email address to be able to find professionals in your area.
  • Depending on where you live, there may not be a lot of professionals listed on the site, which will cause you to have to look elsewhere.
  • You can’t browse local professionals without signing up so only people who are fully committed to hiring will get the full experience of the site.

Find it online here.

Poll: What’s your favorite website for finding contractors?









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